Monday, June 16, 2014

Challenge #15--Midway Reflection & Voting Reminder

Hello everyone! We have reached the midway point of Challenge #15. The theme for this challenge is all about HAPPINESS. Today I am going to share a little introspection with you all that I am also presenting on my own personal blog in my "Motivational Monday" feature.

"Clap along if you know what happiness is to you"

What makes you happy?  Do you have it figured out or is it something that shifts with the times?  Or, is happiness still one of those elusive feelings for you?  There is a catchy tune out on the airwaves right now called "Happy" by Pharell Williams.  It keeps getting stuck in my head and rightly so.  The song just makes me happy!  This song makes me want to snap my fingers and sway to the music.  Wouldn't it be great if you could just snap your fingers and instantly be happy?  For some individuals, being happy doesn't come easy.  Whether it is the by product of mental illness or just having to live through difficult times in general, there are many people who aren't happy in their lives.  Now while the pursuit of happiness can be a difficult journey, there are things that you can do right now to feel happier. 

Raise Your Activity Level

Most of us hate it but studies have proven that exercise has a remarkable effect on our happiness and can indeed help to lift the effects of depression (to read more about one study in particular, click HERE).  However, you don't have to be depressed to benefit from exercise.  The fact alone that it can help one to de-stress and relax are definite steps to feeling happier.  So get up right now and move a little bit. Actually, there are many simple exercises you can do right at your desk, if you are unable to get up.  A little activity goes a long way and helps you to focus on your body and get out of your head allowing you to re-centre yourself and bring on the good cheer.  So, it is time to get those muscles moving.  How about doing your happy dance?  That is sure to do the trick!


Put a big old grin on your face and within moments you'll feel happier.  If you aren't in the mood for smiling right now, then it is even more important that you do so.  The physical act of smiling can cause Serotonin levels in your brain to increase.  The chemical Serotonin is responsible for helping to increase our mood and also help to improve our quality of sleep.  Of course, it is even more important to back up that smile with some positive thoughts.  For example, think about a happy memory or about an upcoming event that is sure to bring a smile to your face.  Get those facial muscles moving and help create a happy dance in your brain.

Practice the Art of Gratitude

I've talked about how important being thankful is in past posts but did you know that practising gratitude can help make you happier and healthier?  The key is to express how thankful you are as often as you are able to in as many ways that you can think of.  Simple ways can include keeping a journal listing things that you are grateful for each day, sharing these items with someone special, saying thank you every opportunity you get.  These are just a few ideas to start.  The key is to find a way that works for you.  While it is a simple strategy, it is an effective one.  There was a study that showed people who made note of the things that they were grateful for on a daily basis, were much happier after doing this simple activity.  The results of another study indicated that writing thank you letters increased the happiness and life satisfaction levels of the participants while simultaneously decreasing symptoms of depression.  So, if you want to be happier, improve your relationships with others, and feel better all around, start being more grateful.  You'll be pleasantly surprised at the results.

Think of Someone You Love

An almost instant way to feel happier is to think about someone you love.  Revel in the memories that you have created with this person or fantasize about ones yet to come and you are sure to get a boost of happy chemicals swimming through your brain.

Spend Time with Family and Friends

An even better way to feel happy is to actually find more time to be with those you love. Social time with family and friends is very important for helping to improve our happiness, even for introverts like myself.  Many studies have shown that the time we spend with friends and family makes a huge difference to how happy we feel in general.  The biggest regrets that people have when facing the end of their life is that they did not spend as much time as they should have with their loved ones.  Don't be one of those people.  Reach out and connect to someone you love today.

Reach Out a Helping Hand

Did you know, that according to research, spending just 100 hours per year (or merely two hours a week) helping or giving to others can greatly enrich our lives?  Whether it is spending money or time on someone other than ourselves, giving benefits the happy centres of our brains.  Even reaching out and helping someone work through a problem or offering them a solution to a current predicament can make us feel better.  Making someone else happy can make yourself happy; so be sure to put helping others on the top of your list, if happiness is your goal.

Of course there are tons more ideas for you to try to boost your happiness in life.  These are just a few simple ones to get you started.  For even more ideas you can check out the references listed below or for some really quick ideas check out, "45 Things You Can Do to Get Happy No Matter Where You Are" by clicking HERE.  Then, if you are willing to spend a little bit more effort on achieving your goal of happiness, be sure to check out, "20 Hard Things You Need to Do to Be Happy" by clicking HERE.  Once you figure you out the right combination of activities that can help you to be a happier individual, I hope to see you right there next to me, clapping along to the Happy song!

Author Unknown. (2013). 10 Things You Can Do Right Now to Be Happier. Available: Last accessed 14th June 2014.
Barker, Eric . (2014). Happy Thoughts: Here Are the Things Proven To Make You Happier. Available: Last accessed 14th June 2014.
Cooper, Belle Beth . (2013). 10 Simple Things You Can Do Today That Will Make You Happier, Backed By Science. Available: Last accessed 14th June 2014.
Rubin, Gretchen . (2014). 9 Things You Can Do to Be Happy in the Next 30 Minutes. Available: Last accessed 14th June 2014.
To help inspire you down the path of happiness, check out the wonderful projects a few of my Design Team had the opportunity to create...
For Monica's midway project, she has chosen to work with Doxie (also called Minature Daschshund), from Ike's Art.  Isn't this puppy fabulous?!  If you are interested in purchasing it, click on the watermark to head over to its section in Ike's store.  It is currently located within the 'Animals' section.
Lynda has chosen to use Daisy Kitten, from Fresh Brewed Designs.  As I mentioned at the challenge start, if this adorable image doesn't exude a sense of happiness, I don't know what will!  If you are interested in purchasing this cute kitty, click on the watermark to head over to its location in Heather's store.
Pat decided to use Alice, from Ike's Art.  If you are interested in purchasing this cool image, click on the watermark to head over to its section in Ike's store.  It is currently located within the  'People' section.!__digi-people

Vicky has chosen to use Relax, from Fresh Brewed Designs.  This is definitely one of my ideas of happiness.  Now if only my legs could look like that!  If you are interested in purchasing this relaxing image, click on the watermark to head over to its location in Heather's store.

Finally, that leaves our...
Dawn, from Designs By Dragonfly, who is our guest designer this month, created this sweet card...
Dawn chose to use the image called Can't Wait from our second regular sponsor, Creative Bug Digis.  Doesn't she just look sooooo happy?!  If you are interested in purchasing this cute image, click on the watermark to head over to the 'Girls' page in Naomi's store.  She also worked in Daisy Kitten, from Fresh Brewed Designs.  You can find the link to Daisy Kitten a little bit earlier in the post.

Clicking on the team members name (or in the case of our GDT, the blog name) will take you to their blog where you can check out the details for their inspirational creations!
So if you haven't entered already, what are you waiting for?  Create a project and/or post that is positive AND relates to happiness, provide an explanation of how your project and/or post relates to the theme somewhere in your post or come over and leave a comment with the explanation.  Easy, peasy!  You can enter our latest challenge by clicking HERE.

Also, I know that the participants would love for you to go and pay them a visit.  Remember we're creating a Path of Positivity to follow one project at a time and we'd love to see you somewhere on that route even if it is just by leaving a comment on an entry from someone who has touched you somehow with their project and/or post!

If you are new to this unique challenge, you can find out the impetus behind why I started it under the 'Introductions' tab and all the details you need to know in order to participate, in the 'Challenge Details' tab (both tabs located at the top of the blog).

Don't Forget...

You still have until 11:55 p.m. tonight, to vote on your favourite entry for Challenge #14.  Voting is quick, easy and painless so I hope you will consider casting your vote if you haven't already.  Don't forget, if you leave a comment after voting, you have the opportunity to walk away with a selection of digital papers created especially with your interests in mind. To check out all those eligible and cast your vote, click HERE.  Winners for challenge #14 will be posted next Monday.

If you need some additional motivation to help inspire you, I've provided another sentiment on this month's theme (the first is available HERE), free for you to download:

Credit Notes For This Creation:
© 2014, Lisa L. Décosse.  PUO.  However, you are allowed to use the sentiment on handmade projects that you intend to sell on a small scale basis provided credit is given. You also need to include a credit note and a link to this blog should you use any of my images in your creations and post them on your blog. Please be sure to familiarize yourself with my full terms of use found in the 'Download Instructions & T.O.U.' tab at the top of this page.  Of important note:  Please do not share my images with family, friends, etc. Additionally, do not post any images to file sharing services like Box®, 4-Shared®, etc. Instead, please direct people to my blog so they can grab the image for themselves. If you would like to post a watermarked version of the image, please contact me to obtain one. 

This word art creation is in png format and published at 300 ppi. It is quite large in order to accommodate different programs that people work with.   If you are a card maker you can always resize it smaller without distorting the quality.

Font Information:
Click on the font name to take you to a download location.  These fonts were listed as free for commercial use at the time this project was made.and as such, it is my understanding, that I am within my rights to use these fonts in my creations and offer them to others.  Please refer to my full terms of service for what you can and cannot do with this digital creation.

Whether you are new and need to familiarize yourself with all the details,  or a returning participant and just need to refresh yourself, you can always find out everything you need to know in order to enter this challenge in the 'Challenge Details' tab at the top of the page. You can enter the challenge by clicking HERE to take you to the current challenge post where you can also find a quick summary of the details related to this challenge, towards the bottom of the post. 

Please show your support to our fabulous sponsors by going over and checking out their work and saying hi if you have the chance.  In addition to Fresh Brewed Designs, our guest sponsor for the month...
...we also have our regular sponsors:

That is me and I'd love for you to visit me on my personal blog.

If you ever have any questions be sure to EMAIL ME or just leave me a comment.

We look forward to seeing you participate!


D- said...

BEAUTIFUL cards DT sisters. Thanks for having me as Guest designer this month!
Crafty hugs,
Path of Positivity Guest Designer

arlsmom aka Lynda said...

What fabulous projects...makes me happy just looking at them all!

Desire Fourie said...

Thanks for an awesome mid way inspiration on Happiness. Great creative designs too. I totally agree I also love that Happy song on the air waves at the moment.
{Path of Positivity DT Member}
{Doing Life – my personal blog}